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CRM Too Personal?

Posted in: Data Marketing

When are brands saying too much?  Customer relationship management (CRM) is about retention and lifecycle value. Brands want to keep their customers and help them spend more.

Retention marketing is a skill using different marketing messages. It is something brands do in-house with or without the help of an advertising agency. The key to CRM is data.

Marketing professionals state that it is six times more profitable to sell to an existing customer than to a new customer. This is because existing customers recognise and (hopefully) attach value to your brand.

This means there is less marketing noise (communications from other brands vying for their money) between you and the buyer.


When does good data on customers become too personal?

But when does good data on customers become too personal?  Many global brands get it wrong. Barclays for example ask for your sort code, your account number and then two digits from your six-digit security code. This is enough to verify the caller’s identity.

However, Barclays go further asking for the caller’s name. The caller says “Mr Jones” and that should be enough. But Barclays instruct their call centre staff to continue probing for the first name “Mr Sam Jones”, whereupon they begin calling the caller by their first name. “So, Sam, how was your weekend?”.


Should call centres use our data for instant friendship?

The question therefore is, do we want our bank, our gas company, our water company to call us as if they were one of our friends in the hope to somehow accelerate that customer relationship and make us spend more..?

This approach mostly leads to customer churn.

American Express are another financial services brand who in the past have made similar mistakes. All banks have their databases link the caller’s incoming telephone number to a customer record. But American Express tried greeting customers with their name before the customer said who was calling (spooky).

Imagine calling British Gas and they say “Hello [Name], how are you?” before you speak a word.


Does online remarketing become too personal for CRM?

Some brands use your data to personalise their adverts. Channel 4 delivered adverts for the Alien Covenant film which display online and display your first name before the word ‘RUN’. i.e. the aliens are coming for you, best get your fast trainers out of the cupboard…

Fosters are another brand which tried a similar online advert showing a short video followed by the words “This one’s for you [Name]” using the first name of the person logged on.

Personalisation in marketing is essential. But over-personalisation like these examples is often regarded as just too creepy and will lead to customer churn. What’s your view? Are brand becoming too personal? Tweet to us below.


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Required reference:

YouCom Media News, May 2018, London, ‘CRM Too Personal?.’